An independent group of citizens has recommended that Metro select one of four firms to manage its Glendoveer golf course, tennis center and fitness trail in outer Northeast Portland.

The group, which includes neighbors and others who use the nature park and its amenities, suggested that Portland-based Glisan Street Recreation; OB Sports Golf Management of Scottsdale, Ariz.; Total Golf Management Services of Oregon City; and CourseCo. Inc., of Petaluma, Calif., be considered as the facility’s next operator.

Owned by Metro Regional Government, the property is now leased to Glisan Street Recreation, which has operated Glendoveer on contract since 1978.

The 242-acre site is west of Northeast 148th Avenue between Halsey and Glisan Streets. It includes two 18-hole golf courses, four covered tennis courts, the Ringside Steakhouse, driving range, pro shop, two-mile fitness trail and two parking lots.

Under the contract, Metro receives 44 percent of revenue from the golf course, but none of the money generated by the driving range, tennis courts or restaurant.

Metro acquired Glendoveer from Multnomah County in 1996. A 2011 study found that the site needs an estimated $4 million in maintenance and repairs.

The maintenance backlog coupled with plummeting revenue prompted Metro last year to consider radical changes to bring in more money from the facility, which is one of Metro’s most popular and heavily used recreation centers.

But the changes Metro officials floated outraged longtime users, many of whom live nearby.

Metro has since taken the possible changes off the table. But its lease with longtime operator Glisan Street Recreation expires at the end of the year, so Metro opened the contract for competitive bids.

The panel’s review was tied to specific criteria including experience, customer service, business strategies and ability to attract new players.

“Metro gave neighbors a big say in helping to select a private company to run Glendoveer,” said Metro Councilor Shirley Craddick, whose district includes Gresham and outer East Portland, where Glendoveer is located. “An interested public is what we need, and there definitely are a lot of interested people wanting the best for Glendoveer. The panel did a great job and gave us excellent advice and direction.”

The four selected firms now must provide detailed business plans, as well as revenue and expense projections. Metro staff also will interview them.

The citizen panel that recommended the four firms also gave Metro a list of potential interview questions. Metro has invited the panel to sit in on the interviews and provide feedback.

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